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Hedgerow's Avatar Joined over 3 years ago
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BBC impartial on religion? You decide. - last commented 26 October 2010 09:41 AM

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Go to: UCL Union censorship: Jesus & Mo respond

Hedgerow's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Hedgerow

[Terms and Conditions: By reading the following comment you agree that you will not take issue with the contents. If you disagree with these terms, please do not read the following...]

I follow the religion of Isphlegm .

My prophet, Mu-HAM-med says that anyone who refuses to worship Him, eats bacon 3 meals a day, actively campaigns against stoning rape victims, drinks 2-3 units of alcohol 5 days a week, wears as little clothing as permitted by law if female, dares to foster their children's curious minds, educates their children about their natural tendency to submit to authority, depicts Him in any light they so wish and doesn't spread the word about Him will be rewarded with 72 vir... sorry 72 copies of His holy book, Kerrang, to keep their fire going through the winter months. Such a nice chap really. Anyone who thinks otherwise should be slain.

[Dislaimer: The above comment is said with only the mildest of jest intended and is not directed at any individual, group, organisation, company, government, religion or other earthly entity. Any similarity to any such entity is purely coincidental and should be deemed as such. The comment is in no way an incitement to violence, hatred, discrimination, ridicule or otherwise. It is not intended, nor should it, cause alarm, distress or offence. Just in case that doesn't cut it, any offence that IS felt is the subjective opinion of the reader and is simply a result of neurological impulses cruising around in the brain for which the author can neither take any responsibility for nor cares about. For the avoidance of doubt, the author of this comment is Mo-HAM-med's civil partner, Je-whore-vah. Peace be upon you.]

[Further disclaimer: Just in case anything in the above comment, or any lack of legal strength of the above disclaimer, would suggest that a law has been broken, it should be considered that an appropriate disclaimer was indeed in place to prevent any law being broken. This is not unreasonable as the author is not a lawyer and could simply not afford to have such a disclaimer drafted due to fear of criminalisation or reprisal for each and every string of words that are uttered.]

Wed, 11 Jan 2012 15:23:54 UTC | #907363

Go to: Skeptical 'Zombies' Attack Alleged Psychic James Van Praagh

Hedgerow's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Hedgerow

Whilst wondering how I could do a little bit of campaigning for reason in the little spare time I find myself with, a few weeks ago I decided to take a shot at psychic mediums.

I threw together a quick complaint to send to the ASA (copy attached - ASA Complaint.pdf), focussing on the psychic medium website, Best Mediums. (If you'd like to read it, I've made it available here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9725017/ASA%20Complaint.pdf)

Here is the reply I received on 18/10/2011.

"Dear Mr [...]

Best Mediums

As you aware we are now looking into this further for you. We should make you aware that the disclaimer on the Best Mediums website is a legal requirement – it must appear wherever they advertise their services. We won’t challenge that specifically, but we will ask them to demonstrate that the claims that their mediums can contact the dead are true. If they can’t do that we will ask them to amend their website.

All the best

Luke, ASA"

Whilst not holding out much hope (after a very dismissive response regarding a complaint I made about a haunted house experience company), I think the response to this complaint will be very interesting. The ASA have quite explicitly stated that they will ask the psychic medium company to demonstrate that the claims they can contact the dead are true.

If they accept the medium's claims, they will show that they are incapable of determining that a claim has been objectively substantiated.

If they reject the medium's claims, this could have significant knock on effects for the whole medium industry.

In reality, decisions made by the ASA aren't legally binding (despite common claims in the media that the ASA have 'banned' an advert). If a company decides to ignore the ASA's decision they may be placed on the on-line list of 'Non Complying Online Advertisers', which in itself doesn't mean too much.

However, the ASA also state on their website:

"For misleading or unfair advertising, if an advertiser refuses to comply with the ASA, then the ASA Chief Executive is able to refer the advertiser to the Office of Fair Trading for legal proceedings under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 or the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008."

I wonder if they're all talk no action or if they would take legal action against mediums?

Wed, 26 Oct 2011 13:49:39 UTC | #884275

Go to: I think we've been insulted by American book publishers

Hedgerow's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Hedgerow

Comment 10 by rjohn19 :

Marketing research will be the death of us all. TV, news coverage, politics, book choices- to succeed on a regular basis, you must pander to the lowest intellectual common denominator because that group is most easily separated from their cash, votes and attention spans.

True. Unfortunately popularity trumps quality. That's why a 'democracy' won't help further our species effectively. Too many ulterior motives. Can you imagine educating the masses properly? What a reasonable yet unruly society we would live in! Look people - circus tricks! Now vote for me bitches.

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 07:27:54 UTC | #846264

Go to: "The £9,000 tuition fees cap won't last – we're biting the bullet first"

Hedgerow's Avatar Jump to comment 103 by Hedgerow

Comment 83 by Rtambree :

Comment 79 by Hedgerow :

Our society hasn't made these choices. A good portion of the population didn't choose any of the political parties by not voting. Another portion was simply swindled into voting for one or the other based on fallacy-filled rhetoric and marketing campaigns by deceiving politicians. Why is it that they only put the good things in their manifestos? Of course, if they told us the undesirable things we wouldn't vote for them - but that's information we need in order to make an informed choice when voting! Perhaps if the majority of the population actually knew what logic, fallacy, critical thinking etc were we would be living in the very different environment.

About 80% of people vote for the three-party consensus on paying for higher education. The Greens and Socialists, who support universal free tertiary education get about 10% of the vote.

How much do you blame 'the people'? How much do you blame Murdoch and the press? How much do you blame the education system for churning out ignorant uncritical citizens who vote against their self-interest? It's difficult to disentangle all these issues. If you absolve the people from blame, you're implicitly condemning them as gullible. Either way, it's an awkward position when the masses go against how you'd like them to vote. Same applies for the Iraq War - the majority of USA and UK voted Bush and Blair BACK IN after the 2003 invasion.

The majority of votes are cast irrationally based on personal interests and a narrow understanding of the policies of the political parties. 'Democracy' is an illusion really - if we had referendum-style decision making on a regular basis (say an online system that doesn't cost millions to issue one referendum) then the decisions 'our society' makes would be very different. That system would be more of a democracy than we currently have but can we trust the masses to make the right decisions? No we can't, any more than we can trust the politicians. However we can't go down the route of putting 'people who know best' in charge as we'd have ourselves a dictatorship. If we ever do pull our socks up as a species and find the perfect balance, I reckon' it'll be thousands of years from now, if ever. What worries me more is that one day we'll colonise another planet and make the same mess we already have here. Bah. Humbug.

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 13:13:18 UTC | #637919

Go to: "The £9,000 tuition fees cap won't last – we're biting the bullet first"

Hedgerow's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by Hedgerow

So the students will also do logic and critical thinking, there will be science literacy courses and a professional skills unit.

Shouldn't these basic skills be taught earlier than university?

He regrets that he felt it necessary to set up a private college. “I’ve always thought that, like health, education was a public good and ought to be paid from the public purse, from the age of 3 until the age of 23 fully and properly. But our society has made different choices. We have all been complicit in voting for political parties that have given up on the idea that we should be providing higher education as a serious public good.

Our society hasn't made these choices. A good portion of the population didn't choose any of the political parties by not voting. Another portion was simply swindled into voting for one or the other based on fallacy-filled rhetoric and marketing campaigns by deceiving politicians. Why is it that they only put the good things in their manifestos? Of course, if they told us the undesirable things we wouldn't vote for them - but that's information we need in order to make an informed choice when voting! Perhaps if the majority of the population actually knew what logic, fallacy, critical thinking etc were we would be living in the very different environment.Blockquote

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 11:10:17 UTC | #637514

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